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Atwood Society panel at MMLA 2019

The Midwest Modern Language Association 61st annual convention will be held in Chicago November 14-17, 2019. The Margaret Atwood Society-sponsored panel will be Saturday the 16th at 1:00. The title is Duality & Doubles in the Novels of Margaret Atwood. The Treasurer of the Society, Denise Du Vernay, is chairing the panel, and Society President Karma Waltonen is presenting a paper on Alias Grace. Three other member presenters will be discussing The Handmaid’s Tale and the MaddAddam trilogy.

Registration and location information can be found here.

Atwood on long list for Scotiabank Giller Prize for fiction

The Toronto Star announced today that the books longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize for fiction have been chosen.

Twelve Canadian books are on the list for the Giller Prize for fiction, selected from a field of 117 books. Margaret Atwood’s fiction has made the Giller list three times, her novels Alias Grace in 1996 (which won), Oryx and Crake in 2003, and The Year of the Flood in 2009. Please see the article in the Star for information on this year’s other eleven nominees.

Six finalists will be announced Sept. 30, and the Giller winner will be announced at a gala in Toronto on Nov. 18.
UPDATE: On Sept. 30, The Testaments was not included on the shortlist.


About the Giller Prize for fiction: The prize was founded in 1994 by businessman Jack Rabinovitch to honor his wife, literary journalist and former Toronto Star books editor Doris Giller. The prize is $100,000 CAD.

Tour dates for The Testaments announced

Margaret Atwood’s long-awaited followup to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, will be released in September, and along with it, Atwood will embark on a reading and speaking tour. We are releasing information on our Twitter page as we learn of individual dates, but all of them can be found on the events page of Atwood’s website, found here. So far, only UK, Ireland, and Canada book tour dates have been officially released (though other Atwood-related events in the United States and elsewhere are frequently announced, and are mentioned on our Twitter feed and Facebook page as we learn about them). We invite you to engage with us on social media, and are happy to re-post Atwood-related news.

Coming soon: The Handmaid’s Tale graphic novel

At long last, the graphic novel of The Handmaid’s Tale is to be released March 26, 2019 by Penguin Random House. It is illustrated by Canadian artist Renee Nault.

The Handmaid's Tale (Graphic Novel) by Margaret Atwood

New Atwood Poem “Update on Werewolves”

Just posted today on Literary Hub and it’s amazing and right on time–

Update on Werewolves

In the old days, all werewolves were male.
They burst through their bluejean clothing
as well as their own split skins,
exposed themselves in parks,
howled at the moonshine.
Those things frat boys do.

Went too far with the pigtail yanking—
growled down into the pink and wriggling
females, who cried Wee wee
wee all the way to the bone.
Heck, it was only flirting,
plus a canid sense of fun:
See Jane run!

But now it’s different:
No longer gender specific.
Now it’s a global threat.

Long-legged women sprint through ravines
in furry warmups, a pack of kinky
models in sado-French Vogue getups
and airbrushed short-term memories,
bent on no-penalties rampage.

Look at their red-rimmed paws!
Look at their gnashing eyeballs!
Look at the backlit gauze
of their full-moon subversive halos!
Hairy all over, this belle dame,
and it’s not a sweater.

O freedom, freedom and power! 
they sing as they lope over bridges,
bums to the wind, ripping out throats
on footpaths, pissing off brokers.

Tomorrow they’ll be back
in their middle-management black
and Jimmy Choos
with hours they can’t account for
and first dates’ blood on the stairs.
They’ll make some calls: Good-bye.
It isn’t you, it’s me. I can’t say why.
They’ll dream of sprouting tails
at sales meetings,
right in the audiovisuals.
They’ll have addictive hangovers
and ruined nails.

Northwestern University has chosen The Handmaid’s Tale as its One Book selection for 2018-2019

Every entering freshman to Northwestern University this fall will receive their own copy of The Handmaid’s Tale and will be exposed to a year full of events related to the book. (For context, in the 2017-2018 school year, there were 91 different events on campus related to the One Book selection– this year promises to be as robust, if not more so!)

Atwood will be at Northwestern to give keynote talks on October 30, 2018, a talk each on both the Chicago and the Evanston campuses, where One Book Faculty Chair Helen Thompson also plans to ask Atwood questions about “The Handmaid’s Tale, its recent television adaptation, and its centrality to the current cultural moment.”

For more information on Northwestern’s One Book program, see its webpage here.

Margaret Atwood to receive Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship

Margaret Atwood will receive yet another prestigious prize, this one symbolizing her place not just as one of the most treasured and visionary writers of our time, but as an activist and environmentalist as well. This honor, the Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship, was established by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship in 2016 and is to be awarded each year to a leader who “has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the societal ideals of belonging, tolerance, and respect.”

In a press statement, former governor-general and prize namesake Adrienne Clarkson said, “We want to honour this remarkable citizen of Canada for all she has done in her personal and professional life to make us aware that we are citizens of a country like Canada and a planet that is our precious Earth. In her brilliant writing career and her personal activism locally, nationally, and internationally, she is a dynamic force in the world today.”

Atwood will be presented with the prize on September 26 at the closing event of 6 Degrees Toronto, “a three-day conversation on citizenship and inclusion.” Ticket and organization information can be found here. Read more about the prize here.

Atwood to Receive Hay Medal

From Locusmag:

Margaret Atwood will receive a Hay Festival Medal for Prose for “a lifetime of ingenious and visionary fiction” during the Hay Festival event in Hay-on-Wye, Wales scheduled May 24 – June 3, 2018.